Press release

Budget 2015: what it means for the North East

Budget 2015 announces major new transport, science and technology investments in the North East.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Chancellor today announced major new investments in transport and science in the North East, as part of a Budget 2015 designed to ensure a truly national recovery.

Budget 2015 builds on previous steps to create a Northern Powerhouse by joining up the north so that it can pool its strengths, and helping areas attract new private sector investment by backing innovation, investing in the quality of life, and devolving power. Budget 2015 announces:

Further new transport investment

Transport for the North will shortly publish an interim report, committing to build on the concept of HS3 to develop a network of high quality rail connections across the north, including the North East, to bring the benefits of HS2 to the north sooner than planned, and work towards a single smart and integrated ticketing system across the north.

Further investments in science and innovation

  • investing £20m in Health North, with centres in the North East, to enable better care for patients and promote innovation through the analysis of data on the effectiveness of different drugs, treatments and health pathways

  • providing £1m to the Centre for Process Innovation to build on the North East’s strengths in the chemical industry. This will support knowledge transfer and collaboration in the sector in the North East

  • helping business by extending the successful Enterprise Zone at Tees Valley, enabling it to capitalise on the expanding oil and gas rig decommissioning market, which is estimated at £1 billion a year between 2013 to 2018

Investments in tourism and the quality of life

  • government has designated a new Housing Zone in Gateshead, with the potential to deliver over 1000 new homes by regenerating brownfield land

  • government will invest £300,000 for a new marketing campaign to promote tourism links between the North East and Scandinavia, and welcomes talks to reinstate the ferry between Norway and Newcastle. This follows investment in the North East tourism announced last month, including the iconic Lindisfarne Castle, Hadrian’s Wall and the Captain Cook Museum

The new measures will help build on the Long Term Economic Plan for the North East announced by the Chancellor last month. The plan sets a goal to increase the size of the North East economy by an extra £6 billion in real terms by 2030, equivalent to over £2,000 per person, and to raise the employment rate so that there are over 50,000 more people in employment in the region during the next Parliament.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said:

There are more people employed in the North East than ever before, and the North East has created 29,000 jobs in the last year alone. This Budget builds on the Long Term Economic Plan for the North East that I set out in February, which aims to add an extra £6 billion to the local economy, create another 50,000 jobs and invest £4.5 billion in better transport.

This is a Budget for a truly national recovery. We are investing in better transport for the North East to join up the north, and supporting the North East’s strengths in the chemicals industry and health science. We are backing tourism in the North East, supporting the reinstatement of the Norway to Newcastle ferry, and backing innovative businesses by extending the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone.

This Budget marks another milestone in our plan to build a Northern Powerhouse. The North East is creating jobs even more quickly than the rest of the country, and our plan is working for people in the North East. We mustn’t turn back now.

Published 19 March 2015